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The Oilers selected Finnish right winger Jesse Puljujarvi fourth overall in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Puljujarvi is 6-foot-3, 203 pounds and ranked third on NHL Central Scouting’s list of European skaters. Puljujarvi played 50 games for Karpat in Finland, scoring 13 goals and adding 15 assists for 28 points. In the playoffs, Puljujarvi tallied four goals and five assists in 10 games.
“I’m really happy now. It’s a nice city and a great team. I’m ready to play next year for the Edmonton Oilers,” said Puljujarvi shortly after being drafted.
“It’s a good thing to get on a team that has a lot of young players and who are only going to get better and start winning at some point too,” he added, through a translator.
Puljujarvi was asked about the potential of playing with last year's first-round pick Connor McDavid.
“Connor is a very good player and I hope I play next year with him.”
He was also asked about playing in the Finnish League, where he had 13 goals and 28 points in 50 games plus nine more in 10 playoff games.
“(I) learned a lot about what it’s like to be a professional hockey player and play with men and have to fight for a spot on the roster.”
With the additions made by the Oilers through free agency and trades, there is some more optimism in advance of the 2014-15 season. That optimism is felt by Jordan Eberle, who attended the Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers on Tuesday in Leduc.
“We’ve added some great pieces with Teddy Purcell, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin and Keith Aulie,” Eberle said. “I like it and I think the thing that sticks out to me is the size that we’ve added, especially on the backend. Those guys are all 6-3 and above and obviously there’s some bigger skilled guys up front. I think anytime you get into August you start getting a little antsy to get back to training camp and that’s how I feel right now. Especially with the additions we’ve added I think you have no reason not to go into the season with positivity.”
It wasn’t only skill the Oilers added but size and maybe more importantly NHL experience.
“I think that’s huge,” Eberle said. “I think you’ve got guys who know how to win and have been there… and I think we all want to play here too. I look forward to this year too.”